06 August 2009


Your arid words drop off
A dry tongue and crackle down
To the earth. They land
Beside, atop, among one another.
Piling up.
Your hot desiccant breath
Scorches the air,
Sparks oxygen in the atmosphere.
Dangerous tinder.
Scraps of speech
Lie below in want of combustion.
In the desert heat of everything you said,
Flashpoint is near.
One more burned noun,
One more overheated adjective
Is all it takes
To ignite.

This photo is from my sisters blog. The poem is a little darker than anything I've put on my blog before. But, you know, flames are hot. Comments, suggestions, etc. are, of course, welcome.

12 May 2009

So, I've been thining about writing a book about... no let me rephrase that - I've been thinking about writing a book chronicling my varied and somewhat unique assemblage of work experiences. This came to me in the shower. Do you remember this?

The first thing that I ever got paid for doing (That seems to be a strange way to put that thought into words. Whatever kind of story you may think this will turn out to be, it probably won't.) was delivering flyers door to door for a local psychic. I admit, it does seem strange that I, as an elementary school boy (probably about 9), went door to door in my poor, black neighborhood, delivering flyers for a palm reader. Even stranger, the more that I think about the situation, is that my mother allowed me to do such a thing, traveling with other neighborhood youths, in the bed of a strange pickup truck. Stranger still, is probably that I seem to remember pleading and begging my mother to allow me to take part in this absurd outing.

08 May 2009

Kick Drum

I'm so tired. This is quite unfinished

There is something in the thick thudding,
Something primitive in the
There is something animal,
Something a hundred million years old
In a hunched over ancestor.
Something before words.
Something before memory.
There is something primitive
In the short arc of two wooden sticks.
There is something violent,
Bloddy-fisted and bare-knuckled.
There is something mathematically complex
In placing each drum just so.

04 May 2009

My First Audiobook

I started to listen to my first audiobook today. It was really odd. I only got the book on cd because I could not find a printed copy for sale or at a library. I couldn't even find the copy that I own[ed?]. It's such a strange experience to be read to by a cd player. I guess, as a teacher, I'm usually doing the readin to my students. Or, when they do read to me, I listening to see how well they read, not how good their story is. Anyway, I'm just not sure if I like it. Similarly, I'm not sure that I don't.

12 April 2009

The Mountain

I see him every day,

Angled up to the sky

He looks dead still

His white face three miles high.

He looks like he doesn’t move

Jagged, lonely and cold.

His rocky, igneous bones

Five hundred thousand years old.

But I know how his frosted skin creeps.

Like icy inchworms down

Bit by frozen bit.

Melting to the ground.

I smell his hot sulfur breathe

Huffing through his cracks.

I feel his stony muscles

As I climb upon his back.

I hear his molten heart beating

From his stance, three miles tall.

He swells with pride to know he lives

And soon he’ll show us all.

OK. Mount Rainier is only 2.73 miles high. Not 3. Poetic discretion.

09 April 2009

Hummingbird hovers hungry
Her wings
A subsonic fluttery blur.
She flies on downy feathers
Fast as a cobra strike.
She moves on slowly
For the next bit of nectar.

Pelican flaps an armful of air
And swoops down seaward.
Breaking the surface tension
Like a spear.
He surfaces soggy and hungry
And dives down again.
He only wants a bite of fish.

Eagle scans the sky.
He circles in search
With autofocus eyes.
He plummets,
Screeching speed
Through the stratus clouds.
His reward, a mouse.

I fly on metal and fire
With combustible thrust,
Gauges and gasoline.
Bolt on ramjets
And turbocharged pull props
Power up the throttles.
I want the sky.

07 April 2009


This may become part of a larger piece.

What does that hummingbird know?
What does he think?
Beating his wings 50 times
Before I blink.
Where does he go?

To the next flower.

24 March 2009

Today's Scribble

Ok, I plan to get back to this later (hopefully later tonight).

But here's an alliterative idea I don't want to forget:

crooked chromosome

26 February 2009

Little Ballerina

Pink toes.
Tights pulled too high,
Loose with wrinkles,
Smile up to the window.

I'm a ballerina!
Pointing to prove
At her dancing top,
Touching her tiptoes.

Look at me!
Tutu curtsy
And a shuffle spin.
I'm a ballerina!

It was ballet class tonight.

24 February 2009

Grade School Basketball

Grade school basketball
Is choreography synchronized and rehearsed
But performed to music you've never heard before.
It's your favorite song
In a language you don't understand.
It's rolling through the stop
As you catch the cop
From the corner of your eye.
It's shooting at the wrong goal
With a particularly unembarrassed smile.
It's asking the referee,
"Who do I guard?"
It's both teams in the same color
And guessing who tipped the ball off the flagpole.
It's aunties on the court
And little brother sitting on the players' bench.
It's a stepping stone to knowing,
"This is not my kind of game."

I've been [poorly] refereeing some 5th grade basketball games. This is taken from observations of the games and retrospection on my officiating... skill.

19 February 2009

Low Earth Orbit

A slow ascent above the sky
At 280 miles a minute.
The continents and seas trail back
In hypersonic grace.
The push of icy wet oxygen
Thrusting us just above the clouds

If we’re lucky.

The rocket’s empty lungs fall away
Heaving us up to the edge
Of gravity’s confining grip.
Not quite to the cosmos,
But not quite earthmen anymore.
Lucky to be so insignificant.

Just a scrap of steerable debris.

I made some revisions to an earlier piece.

18 February 2009

My Daughter Loves the Stars

Tonight she was looking up at the sky as we were driving home and she said, "Daddy, the stars are coming with me." That got me thinking.

17 February 2009

15 February 2009


Learning is chocolate,
Each fact a handcrafted confection.
It's two scoops of ice cream
That you can't not eat
When you shouldn't
Have another bite.

Ideas are rainbows,
Glimmering every color twice.
They are the soft curves
Of natural beauty.
They are swimming
With dolphins at your wet fingertips.

Knowledge is a rippling richter wave
Rumbling through all the earth.
It is the flaming fusion
In the sparkle of the stars.
It is moving parts and solid state.
It is worth every thought.

I got the idea for this from a film I watched about learning differences. It was a kind of tribute to Bill Cosby's late son, Ennis, who was dyslexic. Anyway, a girl, maybe about 10-12 years old who had gone through school thinking that she was unable to learn happened across some good teachers who figured out how to teach this girl. The point to all this is that when the girl started to learn, she did not want to stop for a second. She said, with a huge, giggly smile, "Learning is ice cream!"

14 February 2009

This photograph is the inspiration for these thoughts. It's from Linda's pic-a-day blog.

This is very much incomplete. But I am exhausted.

A home will
Eventually fall into forgotteness.
The wooden joists
Splinter off into breezes and rain.
The doors will
Fall away from their frames.
The floors will
Turn to grayed dust ruts.

13 February 2009

Scrap of Logic

Is a geometric ray.
A point of origin,
And a direction.
A straight rail
An electric flesh brain
Sraight out
Staight ahead
Straight through.
Point after consecutive point,
One leading to another
To the next and again
In a perfect plot
Of graphable order.

Natural Gas

And you thought this was going to be
A crude poem
Saddled on a rancid pun.

It almost was.

Low Earth Orbit

A slow ascent above the sky
At 280 miles a minute.
Lucky just to get above the clouds,
Luckier still
To become
Just another scrap of steerable debris.

11 February 2009

Incidental X-Ray

Pulsing through it all
In penetrating undulations,
But silenced in stealth.
It can come from
Any everywhere.

An accidental invention.
Just another wavelength.
It stops when we say.

An astronomic afterthought,
Spinning out a billion miles
And a million billion more
In escape
From a crushed oblivion.

It exists just because
Something else was,
And then,
Was not.
But it still has
A million miles left.

Because the tech
Switches, dials, and knobs
Behind the heavy glass
While I sit very still.